13 March 2017 A device for real-time live-cell microscopy during dynamic dual-modal mechanostimulation
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Abstract
Mechanotransduction – the process by which cells sense and respond to mechanical stimuli – is essential for several physiological processes including skeletal homeostasis. Mammalian cells are thought to be sensitive to different modes of mechanical stimuli, including vibration and fluid shear. To better understand the mechanisms underlying the early stages of mechanotransduction, we describe the development of devices for mechanostimulation (by vibration and fluid shear) of live cells that can be integrated with real-time optical microscopy. The integrated system can deliver up to 3 Pa of fluid shear simultaneous with high-frequency sinusoidal vibrations up to 1 g. Stimuli can be applied simultaneously or independently to cells during real-time microscopic imaging. A custom microfluidic chamber was prepared from polydimethylsiloxane on a glass-bottom cell culture dish. Fluid flow was applied with a syringe pump to induce shear stress. This device is compatible with a custom-designed motion control vibration system. A voice coil actuates the system that is suspended on linear air bushings. Accelerations produced by the system were monitored with an on-board accelerometer. Displacement was validated optically using particle tracking digital high-speed imaging (1200 frames per second). During operation at nominally 45 Hz and 0.3 g, displacements were observed to be within 3.56% of the expected value. MC3T3-E1 osteoblast like cells were seeded into the microfluidic device and loaded with the calcium sensitive fluorescent probe fura-2, then mounted onto the dual-modal mechanostimulation platform. Cells were then imaged and monitored for fluorescence emission. In summary, we have developed a system to deliver physiologically relevant vibrations and fluid shear to live cells during real-time imaging and photometry. Monitoring the behavior of live cells loaded with appropriate fluorescent probes will enable characterization of the signals activated during the initial stages of mechanotransduction.
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D. Lorusso, H. N. Nikolov, T. Chmiel, R. J. Beach, S. M. Sims, S. J. Dixon, D. W. Holdsworth, "A device for real-time live-cell microscopy during dynamic dual-modal mechanostimulation ", Proc. SPIE 10137, Medical Imaging 2017: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging, 101370F (13 March 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2253904; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2253904
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